Authors: Sarra Manning
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #General
Let’s Get Lost
Kiss and Make Up
Sealed With a Kiss
Published by Hachette Digital
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2004 by Sarra Manning
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
Written by Sarra Manning and based on the
Diary of a Crush
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.
Little, Brown Book Group
100 Victoria Embankment
London, EC4Y 0DY
Diary of a Crush
continues with Grace who’s 16 and in
love with pink guitars, Harry Styles, dark-chocolate
Tunnock’s teacakes, Audrey Hepburn and Jack…
My friend Edie, who’s like my best friend in the world (even though my older sister Poppy thinks Edie belongs to her), keeps a diary. She told me that all the messy stuff that gives you immense inner head hurt becomes less messed when you write it all down.
So here goes nothing.
My name’s Grace, I’m 16 and most days I feel like the biggest geek ever created. Other geeks get down and worship at the feet of my geekiness.
I’m 16 and most days I feel like I’m 12.
I’m 16 and I’ve only ever been kissed once by an evil boy called Carter who was going out with Edie. But that was last summer and it seems like years ago.
I spent this summer in a transit van. ’Cause the one cool thing about me is that I’m in this band called Mellowstar. See, Edie was in the band and then she left ’cause she wanted to go on holiday with dreamy Dylan, her boyfriend. She gave me her pink guitar and forced Poppy and Atsuko and Darby (they’re the other girls in the band) to let me join. Edie’s good at getting people to do stuff.
Poppy is the source of most of my pain. Her chief pleasure in life is to cause me maximum grief. Well, that and boinking her stupid boyfriend Jesse.
I only like Poppy when she’s on stage. And I only really like me when I’m on stage and I can pretend that I’m not geeky Grace. Poppy wanted my stage name to be Grace Less but I threatened to tell Mum and Dad that she was doing it with Jesse and she said I could be Amazing Grace instead. I do feel amazing when I’m up there and the lights are blinding me so I can’t see the audience properly and I can make people laugh and dance and feel sad just because of me playing the guitar.
Sometimes I think that that’s enough. I get to play guitar and everything feels all right. But then when I’m guitarless, I feel all undone. Part of it is because Edie is someplace that is else. She’s going to be living in London now and studying. ‘In training for world domination’ is how Dylan describes it but I think she’s actually doing a French degree. Poppy’s all like, ‘Oh Edie’s not going to have enough time for you,’ but Poppy always knows where my sorest spots are. It’s a gift that big sisters are born with.
I’ve had weeks to get used to not having Edie around, but I miss her good advice. Edie used to act as if I was as cool and slinky and clever as her. She and Dylan were like in this little world of their own making but they’d let you visit. I miss that
much. Oh and Edie was a girl who’d always have a spare hair-clip.
And then there’s Jack. Jack’s this boy who I can never work out. Sometimes I want him to be my boyfriend because he seems as shy as me and we can have these deep conversations about art and music and film and what they really put into the savoury mince in the college canteen. And other times I feel like he’s totally out of my reach. It’s like he’s changing into an ungeeky boy that other girls fancy. And I’m just staying the same.
Him and Jesse are like this particularly loathsome double act. They roadied for us on our tour but instead of getting lots of opportunities to show Jack that I would make an ideal girlfriend, Jack turned into this über lad. He pulled three different girls in the space of a week. Skanky girls with breasts and blonde hair. OK, I have breasts and blonde hair too but not like that.
How can I describe Jack? He looks a tiny bit like Harry Styles but with straight hair. And he’s just finished a growth spurt so he’s suddenly way taller than me and he’s also suddenly muscled from lugging our gear around all summer and playing football. See, I can tell you what he looks like and what he’s into but pinning him down so the words on the page capture his essence is harder.
Because I’ve already accused him of crimes of laddishness but last night at rehearsal Poppy was more vicious than usual and I went to sit on the wall outside. It wasn’t dark yet and I sat there and was mad at Poppy and missing Edie and feeling like the loneliest girl on the planet when Jack came out.
He didn’t say a word, just held my hot, sweaty hand and made me feel not quite so alone for five minutes. Y’know, maybe Edie was right. Writing a diary might unmess me.
Just got an email from Edie. She’s OK-ish. She seems a bit frayed round the edges. Says that London is weird and she can’t get used to the huge amounts of people. She also says that if Jack isn’t happening I should check out the new influx of Foundation Art students at college because it didn’t do her any harm.
So it’s a big weekend. I’m going to London to play a gig and stay with Edie! I have to repeat that, because it never gets old. Going to London to play a gig. And if that wasn’t cool enough, I was walking out of college with Marianne who always decants her vending machine coffee into a Starbucks container ’cause she’s so pretentious and then Dylan, who’s driving me and Jack down to London for gigging duties, was walking towards us and hugging me and I turned and looked at Marianne and she was staring at me with this look of absolute awe. People don’t normally look at me like that. But Dylan is a fine, fine, super-fine boy. Or maybe he’s a man. He’s 21 after all.
I called shotgun and Dylan played his Elvis compilation tape all the way there ’cause he said it reminded him of Edie. And Jack was like, ‘You’re seeing her in two hours.’ But I don’t think Jack gets what love is all about. Jack’s not very evolved sometimes.
Edie looks different, but she still looks the same. I mentally totted up all the different Edie bits that make up Edie: short fringe, blue eyes, permanently surprised eyebrows, the scar on her hand where her cousin threw a cricket bat at her when they were little. The bits were all there but Edie just didn’t look the same.
Her and Dylan went to sleep in the room next door because some girl had dropped out and gone home the day before and we all slept in Edie’s room. Poppy and Jesse bagsied the bed and Poppy completely made a show of me by insisting that Jack slept nowhere near me. Like, we would do anything! Like, he would want to.
I hung out with Edie all day. We went to TopShop in Oxford Street and she was right about all the people. I bought this see-through black Victorian top thing and Edie said she was broke and then bought a pair of jeans, a pair of gingham knickers and some hair bobbles.
She also said that she hates London and she wants to come home and that the work is too hard and the people on her course are complete freaks. If Edie can’t handle stuff then how can I?
Our gig was a disaster. The power kept shorting and halfway through the set my guitar strap broke and Jack had to stand behind me for the rest of the gig and hold my guitar up. I couldn’t concentrate. I could feel his breath hitting the back of my neck and when I leaned back so I could look at the neck of my guitar, Jack was pressed against me.
Poppy kept glaring at me but I ignored her. Afterwards she bawled me out. ‘I haven’t got time for amateurs,’ she yelled, like she was some big diva.
‘It could happen to anyone,’ Jesse pointed out.
But Poppy stamped her foot. ‘So why does it always happen to her?’ she snarled before stomping out to bitch about me to Edie.
We went to this student party afterwards. Dylan and Edie went into the garden so they could kiss without being disturbed. Darby and Atsuko were on the prowl and I was left sitting on the sofa on my own.
I was just wondering how people older than me could be so immature as I heard these students have a big argument about the different kinds of kryptonite in Superman when Jack plonked himself down next to me.
‘Hi,’ he said. ‘I got you a drink.’
He handed me a bottle of beer even though I’m only 16 and he’s only 17 and anyway I hate the taste.
‘Thanks,’ I murmured. ‘And thanks for the human guitar strap thing.’
Jack shrugged. ‘So, um, college is going OK?’
‘It’s all right.’
Why couldn’t I think of something funny and interesting to say like Edie or Poppy would? ‘Jack? What does the gold kryptonite do again?’
Jack looked at me with a slightly concerned expression. ‘I don’t know.’
There was a moment’s silence. And then Jack said: ‘You’re funny.’
I took a teeny, weeny sip of my beer. ‘Funny ha ha or funny peculiar?’
Jack laughed. He laughed at something I’d just said! ‘I’m not sure, both probably. Look do you wanna go to the cinema or something when we get back to Manchester?’
‘OK,’ I said.
‘Cool.’ Jack sat back and neither of us said anything much after that.
I’m never sure if Jack’s a boyfriend or a friend who’s a boy. We still haven’t set up this date yet. But he saves me a seat in the college canteen sometimes and on Thursdays we skip Philosophy and walk into town to go to Rhythm Records and the guitar shop. We don’t really talk much and it can be a bit of a strain trying to think of things to say to him. But today when we were heading back to college, Jack said really casually like it was an afterthought, ‘So do you wanna do something tomorrow?’
And for a second I was gripped with excitement and then I remembered. ‘Um, I’m going to see The Vaccines, ’cause Dylan had a spare ticket.’
Jack just shrugged. ‘Oh, OK then.’
He didn’t act like he was even a little bit put out.
Poppy and the others went out drinking before The Vaccines gig so I arranged to meet them inside the venue. I should have known they’d be late.
I stood on my own for ages like a friendless loser when I noticed this cute guy who looked sort of like R Patz (but only sort of) standing next to me and frowning. I waited for him to tell me to get out of the way or something but he smiled and said, ‘Look, I know this sounds really lame but are you in Mellowstar?’
‘Do you want a drink?’ he shouted in my ear as the support band suddenly blasted into their first number.
I nodded again. I seemed to have lost all power of speech. But he didn’t seem to notice, just (and I am aware that I’m shaking as I write this) put his arm round me. I repeat, put his arm round me and guided me over to the bar.
I soon realised that me not actually being able to speak wasn’t an issue. The music was loud and all I had to do was nod when he asked me what I thought of the band or if we were playing soon. He had this freckle on his chin and all I could think about was touching it. But then of course the others turned up and Poppy started haranguing me for not being where she’d decided I’d be and when I looked around he’d gone.